Swim and dive impresses in meets against Wheaton College, Boston College

Members of the women's swim and dive team dive into Hamilton Pool on Dec 2, 2018. Tufts Daily Photo Archives

The Tufts men’s and women’s swim and dive team had an outstanding performance against Wheaton College on Saturday, despite racing after its grueling training trip to South Florida and meet against Boston College (BC) on Jan. 14. The Jumbos hosted the Lyons at their home Hamilton Pool, with both the men’s and women’s teams emerging victorious. Earlier in the week, Tufts hosted BC in the team’s first race since December, fresh off its annual training trip to Florida. The men’s team defeated BC, while the women’s team fell short.

Coach Adam Hoyt shared his thoughts on the team’s performance in the two meets, especially after a quick turn around from their winter training.

“I think everyone was feeling fatigued from both meets — physical and mental fatigue from travel and a busy past couple of weeks of training,” Hoyt said. “But, the men and women both responded well from the fatigue, and we were able to focus on the things they needed to control.”

Men’s team

The Jumbos outperformed the Lyons in nearly every event, with a final score of 167‒93. For the 200-yard medley relay, the Jumbos placed in first and second, with senior Matthew Manfre, sophomore Nate Tingen and first-years Joshua Balbi and Peter LaBarge recording a time of 1:33.78. In the 200-yard freestyle, the first eight finishers were all Jumbos, with senior Roger Gu holding the fastest time of 1:42.37. Tufts also held at least the top three times in the 100-yard backstroke, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard butterfly.

Five days before, despite 10 consecutive years of losing to BC, the team dominated in a close meet, with a final score of 195‒179. Tufts picked up a win in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:32.62 time. Notably, including the 200-yard medley relay, sophomore Tar Tar Jarusinchai totaled three first-place finishes, while Gu had four.

“I am pretty happy with how I swam after coming off the training trip — we are all tired, and I gave it my all and I was pretty happy with it,” Gu said. “The team did very well, there were a lot of breakout swims. I think, given the circumstances of just coming off of a trip and a meet earlier in the week, we did really well.”

Women’s team

The women’s team also had a polished performance on Saturday, defeating Wheaton 169‒114. After falling to the BC Eagles earlier in the week, the Jumbos were motivated to outperform the Lyons. The women’s 200-yard medley relay teams placed in first and third, with sophomore Emma Donchi and juniors Lily Kurtz, Sahsa Fong and Amy Socha on the first-place team with a 1:49.14 time. First-year Katelin Isakoff had two wins in the 1,000-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle.

“I thought I did pretty well, especially coming off the training trip where we were all broken down,” Isakoff said about the Wheaton race. “It was definitely a pretty solid mid-season meet. It was really good to see the team all together at a home meet supporting each other and cheering.”

During the BC meet, the women’s team overall had a consistent performance, but fell to the college by a final score of 266–110. Isakoff completed the 500-yard freestyle in 5:09.08, placing first in the event and also came in second in the 200-yard butterfly at 2:07.96.

Moving forward

The men’s and women’s team will race against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this Saturday, in the annual senior meet. It will be hosted at Hamilton Pool. The men’s team fell short to MIT in the MIT Invitational earlier this season, placing as runner-up in the meet, while the women’s team placed first in the meet.

Looking forward to the remainder of the season, Hoyt explained that now the team can focus on more technical aspects of swimming.

“From a fitness standpoint, we are where we need to be — our athletes have trained really hard, and fitness levels are high,” Hoyt said. “From a technical standpoint, really working on top-end speed and crisper racing, meaning high levels of focus on technical aspects of their swimming, whether it is their starts, turns or pacing that are a little bit more difficult to improve when you are broken down and fatigued as an athlete.”

Gu mentioned that at this point in the season, the team is looking forward to the upcoming championship meets.

“That is definitely the most exciting part of the season,” Gu said. “After seeing how well everyone performs when we are not in optimal conditions, once we get into championships there is a lot of potential to do great things.”